Lee Foxall was on the first cohort of learners on a bricklaying course at the BCTG Skills Centre in West Bromwich.
His keen attitude and ability to quickly pick up skills impressed his tutor who then arranged work experience with a plasterer, and this encouraged Lee to apply for the training position at Sandwell Council.
Lee, aged 18, from Wednesbury, said: “I’ve always been more of a hands-on person and have friends and family who work in construction.
“I was part of a small class of five people when I started my course at the BCTG Skills Centre in 2020, and the friendly teaching staff was perfect for me.
“The service and skills they offered was amazing and while the other lads went off doing bricklaying work experience, BCTG worked with me to figure something out with a plasterer I knew.
“That’s where it all started in my plastering trade as I did four-weeks plastering work experience while also completing a Level 1 Diploma in bricklaying.”
Lee added: “The work experience BCTG helped arrange is one of the biggest reasons why I succeeded at getting on the plastering apprenticeship with Sandwell Council.
“The skills I’ve gained and all that experience was a really massive help to get me where I finally wanted to be, and I can’t thank everyone at BCTG enough for being so helpful.
“The advice I would give to anyone wanting an apprenticeship is to get out there do your work experience as well as a Level 1 Diploma – it’s definitely worth it and will help you get an apprenticeship a lot faster.
“Also, show yourself to be eager, ask questions and, most important of all, be confident.”
Steve Burnet is the lead business development officer at BCTG Group, which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.
He initially recruited Lee to the bricklaying course at the BCTG Skills Centre and arranged his work experience with a local construction company.
Mr Burnet said: “Lee was a keen and very able trainee and it’s great to see the progression that he’s has made since completing the BCTG course.
“His success at gaining an apprenticeship just highlights how our Skills Centre can be a great pathway into a career in construction.”